Pro Wrestling Chaos ‘Mysterious City of Chaos’ (14/1/17) Review
by Tim Ricketts
Photo Credit: Turning Face (@jim_turningface)
The pandemonium that finished Pro Wrestling Chaos’ final event of 2016, with six men interrupting the title match main event, has left new majority owner Dave Mercy with an obvious matchmaking headache. Firstly, that match highlighted several legitimate claims to a tilt at the title: Eddie Ryan’s yet-to-be-reconciled number one contendership, Mike Bird’s sometimes self-destructive drive to prove how much Chaos means to him, and Big Grizzly’s consistent improvement that has left an impression on a few steamrollered opponents. There’s also the spectre of Mercy’s nemesis, as Flash Morgan Webster and his tame tag team The Modern Culture (Richie Edwards & Danny Jones) have been making their presence felt, including a botched attempt at ‘cashing-in’ the dubiously acquired Heir to the Throne briefcase.
The main issue to resolve from last year has to be between firm fan favourite The Wild Boar, whose run as champion will leave a lasting legacy for the King of Chaos title, and international master of mayhem Jimmy Havoc who abused his final moments of power as General Manager to set up his shot at the championship. After the previously mentioned level of interference, it is not surprising that the match ended in double disqualification. The rematch was announced as a matter of priority, as was the prospectively mouthwatering heavyweight bout of Eddie Ryan versus Rampage Brown and the grudge match between the former Magnums, after Chris Walker handcuffed Dick Riley to beat the hell out of him with a steel chair.
Knight of Chaos Alex Steele is back from injury, so he and Sir Eddie Dennis reunite to defend their tag titles for the first time against tournament semi-finalists Project Lucha (El Ligero & Martin Kirby). Impressive newcomer Sierra Loxton will be looking to gain a little vengeance against Jetta for her controversial début loss in the event’s other tag match, as they team with Gideon and Jeckel respectively. Jeckel will probably want to avoid any references to seahorses after the big monster’s fancy-dress humiliation at ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’.
The aggressive and anti-authoritarian antics of The Brotherhood back in November have not earned them their demanded booking for this show, although they’re probably still a bit sore from the lesson handed out by Gideon and the Henchmen. The Modern Culture are also yet to get a sanctioned match under Mercy’s three month period of nigh-absolute control, as the night’s card is rounded off by Mike Bird and Big Grizzly facing off yet again, though one-on-one and hopefully with a more definitive conclusion than in previous meetings.
The Newman Hall, a new venue to Chaos, is rather cramped for its sell-out crowd and with the rather extortionate price of £1.90 just for a can of pop, quite a dry one too. On the plus-side for the venue is the rather grand entrance stage, replete with new live commentary set-up and perfect positioning for the Chaostron. As Dave Mercy warms up the crowd and introduces us to dapper new announcer, Robert Maltman, we have our first match of the evening.
Big Grizzly vs. ‘The Ginger Jesus’ Mike Bird
These two have faced off in a Chaos ring many times in the past six months thanks to the Mercy/Khan ownership battle, but the only recent one-on-one match (at The Hungerford Games) was robbed of a conclusive finish by the actions of Pariah Khan and Jeckel. With so much bad blood between the two, it’s not surprising that the match starts with a trade of aggressive and aggravating shoves and slaps before the impressive Welshmen go hold-for-hold.
Grizzly uses his strength and size advantage well, but it is often nullified by Bird’s experience, resilience and agility. Big Grizz’ steps his game up to demonstrate how agile he is for a big man with a variety of moves from the turnbuckle and a particularly devastating senton, whilst Mike Bird seems intent on lifting Grizzly to deliver a big manoeuvre.
When given the time to arrange a sneaky advantage, Grizzly will always oblige, this time removing the corner-pad. ‘The Ginger Jesus’ is whipped towards the exposed turnbuckle, narrowly avoiding Ref Paz, both having to quickly dodge Grizzly’s follow up splash. Bird hoists the dazed Big Grizzly, stunned by that dose of instant karma, up on to his shoulders. He finally executes the ferocious fireman’s carry to double-knee gut-buster he’s been looking for. Mike’s normally sure-fire ‘finisher’ only gets a two-count though, Grizzly recovering quickly to send Bird back into the exposed metal, up for a chokeslam and down for the three-count.
A fiery and finely balanced match to open the show.
Jeckel & Jetta vs. ‘The Freaky Princess’ Sierra Loxton & ‘The Red Emperor’ Gideon
Jeckel and Jetta enter to the jeers from the Chaos Club that they’ve earned, whilst Sierra and Gideon, resplendent in their gloriously dramatic face-paint, canes and costumes, put the stage to serious use with some well-received pomp-and-circumstance. Jetta and Loxton lock up to start, continuing their enmity, and although ‘The Freaky Princess’ begins brighter, Jetta soon works her over while she is trapped in the wrong half of the ring.
Jeckel tags in and delivers one of his typically strong forearm strikes to Sierra, confirming to the crowd that Chaos have dealt with this credibly with all athletes on an equal footing. She retaliates with an assortment from her arsenal of innovative hip-attacks and a double-scissor take-down of a double-team ambush, before Jeckel reasserts the villains’ dominance. Gideon finally gets the hot tag and explodes into action, matching his former TeamH8 tag partner Jeckel for strong strikes, but inevitably falling for his opponents’ divide and conquer tactics too.
The end of the match becomes a little confusing as Jetta and Jeckel start committing so many minor infractions that Ref Mark can’t keep up, even with the legal tags. When Gideon hesitates to finish Jetta, she delivers a low blow, leaving him for Jeckel to drive face-first into the mat and get the pin-fall victory.
Both teams had excellent chemistry in this bout, but the superb theatrics of ‘The Freaky Princess’ and ‘The Red Emperor’ made them excitingly feel like a burgeoning partnership, which itself could help realise Loxton’s obvious potential.
Before the battered and beaten Gideon can leave the ring, he is jumped by The Brotherhood (Joe Mezinger, Nathan Bane & Elijah Dahl). Shockingly, it is Jeckel who comes running from the back to make the save, as Sierra stands aghast. Are we starting to see Jeckel’s hitherto unforeseen softer side?
‘Filthy’ Chris Walker vs. ‘Dirty’ Dick Riley
The Magnums’ music hits, but when the maniacally grinning Chris Walker comes out garbed in a plain leather waistcoat, we can see that the rest of that gimmick has been shed. He underlines this by whipping out his former ring-gear and blowing his nose with it. Conversely, coming out to the cheesy rather than sleazy Phil Collins, Dick Riley has at least kept the familiar Hawaiian-shirted look. The Magnums’ inspired, hilariously double-entendre’d crowd chants start immediately.
Riley dives right in looking for revenge, fists flying from both wrestlers. Walker has to keep going for rope-breaks, as Ref Paz insistently warns ‘Dirty’ Dick about his closed hand striking. Walker rallies and responds in kind, yelling ‘You never respected me!’ at his former tag-partner, before the battle spills to ringside. Riley comes up the better, bringing Walker back into the ring with a brutal over-the-rope suplex and subsequent spectacular standing moonsault. A few vicious retorts from ‘Filthy’ Chris aren’t enough to stop Dick getting his justice with a super-kick initiated pin-fall.
An intense grudge match which exceeded expectations in both brutality and athleticism.
Knights of Chaos Tag Title Match: Project Lucha (El Ligero & Martin Kirby) vs. The Steele Dragons (Eddie Dennis & Alex Steele) (c)
Both teams come out to their own fair share of cheering and chanting and proceed to perform a comedy-of-errors skit, based on ‘The Mexican Sensation’s’ lack of English comprehension. It all ends in hugs, even for Ref Mark. The amicable atmosphere is annihilated by the appearance of The Modern Culture. They unceremoniously turf Robert Maltman from the commentary desk so Flash can join Merlin Obadiah Cambridge on the microphone.
The action finally gets under-way, and both teams begin to demonstrate the highly athletic styles for which they are justly famous. Alex stops proceedings, to retrieve a phrasebook from his trunks that would have come in handy earlier. El Ligero is too fast, so Dennis dons a lucha mask to become ‘Eddie Mysterio’ and suddenly he’s all deep arm-drags and huracanranas. He discards the mask with the declaration “Tricked ’em see… I’m not really a luchador!” Project Lucha demonstrate their originality and flair with a notable two-man senton-bomb on the Welshman, before he retaliates this double-team assault with his signature two-man fall-away slam.
A stealthy theft of Ligero’s cape and Mysterio’s mask by The Modern Culture provokes a chase backstage to leave Steele and Kirby alone in the ring. As the incredibly versatile and always impressive Martin Kirby starts to dominate, he calls for a Sable Bomb. He gets Steele up and into position but the agile Bristolian counters, flipping his opponent into a pinning combination for the three count. The title is retained, but Jones and Edwards are right back out to stick the boot in, still being chased by Dennis and El Ligero.
Thoroughly entertaining, although for unexpected reasons, as I would have predicted more action and less antics in a title match.
Eddie Ryan vs. Rampage Brown
With the mutual ire between Ryan and the Chaos Club, it’s Rampage who gets the love of the crowd for this heavyweight bout. This doesn’t seem to phase the long-standing number-one contender to The King of Chaos title, as both competitors start with a trade of chest-slaps whose echoes mingle with the obligatory ‘Woos’ from the audience in the rafters. This fight fulfils its mouthwatering promise as these two well-matched athletes continue trading their strong slaps and strikes, punctuated with a series of suplexes and slams that both metaphorically and literally leave the ring shaking.
The match is tactically and technically tight but with Rampage starting to edge it, so Ryan unsurprisingly takes a nefarious path to success. He manages to counter a potentially powerful pile-driver into a pin, but uses the second rope for leverage as Paz counts to three, unaware. While Ryan delights in his win, the distinctly disgruntled Rampage delivers that ‘driver anyway, before stomping away in disgust.
A brilliant and bruising ‘big boys’ bout.
King of Chaos Title Match: Jimmy Havoc vs. The Wild Boar (c)
Havoc enters and stands stock-still in the ring, waiting as champion Boar arrives to meet his challenging stare. After the intense initial exchange, Boar begins brighter, nearly bisecting Jimmy with a gore in the corner and a subsequent suplex. A missed cannonball lets Havoc in, grinding Boar down with brawling strikes and chokes, before heading to his natural habitat: ringside.
Wild Boar is an incredibly popular champion, impressively defeating a series of high-profile stars in his year-plus record-setting reign, but the Machiavellian Havoc has his own admirers who strive to be heard over the majority. Their voices rise as he drags Boar up the entrance ramp and clears the commentary position, before giving the recovering champ an Acid Rainmaker.
Ref Mark is on his ten-count though, and calls for the bell. A double count-out. Jimmy isn’t a happy Havoc, so he leaves Boar in a heap to confront the hapless official. Mark, pinned in the corner, has no choice but to accede to his demands of a restart with a no disqualification stipulation.
King of Chaos Title, No DQ Match: Jimmy Havoc vs. The Wild Boar (c)
With no contradiction coming from behind the curtain and the situation now more to his liking, Havoc starts finding folding chairs and spare ring-boards to toss on the canvas while his opponent recovers. By the time Boar gets to the ring, hardcore hellion Havoc has the place set up.
It doesn’t go all Jimmy’s way. Over the course of the next ten minutes or so, both men get hit by or put through chairs and boards at all angles, at speed, head-first or from the corner-post. Archetypal folding chairs lie scattered and mangled amongst the splinters of several boards, as Wild Boar finally pins Jimmy Havoc with a bridging crucifix.
The most hardcore match I have seen with a PG rating, without stepping over that line. Bravo.
Wild Boar is victorious but utterly exhausted, prone on the canvas as Havoc leaves, crossing paths with the opportunistic Flash Morgan Webster as he does. Despite repeatedly being informed that his acquisition of the Heir to the Throne case was illegitimate, nobody has successfully dispossessed Flash or his followers. Mark is put into another awful situation as The Man That Would Be King declares that he is ‘cashing in’. Again, surprisingly, there is no objection from management.
King of Chaos Title Match: ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster vs. The Wild Boar (c)
The Modern Culture immediately ambush Boar, and Mark refuses the count on three for Flash’s pin. They drag him out, and Boar gets another kicking as Edwards brings Ref Paz to the ring in a headlock. Flash goes for The Strangler on Wild Boar this time. Once… twice… and with the saddest look I’ve ever seen in a ring, Paz lets the expired champion’s arm hit the canvas for a third time. Ladies and Gentlemen, your new King of Chaos, ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster.
Another Chaos card that delivers a smorgasbord of wrestling styles to delight fans of all varieties. Each match wrapped in their own coherent story-lines both ongoing and on-the-night. Not everyone went home happy with their new champion though!
After the event, Pro Wrestling Chaos management issued a video that revealed Dave Mercy assaulted and unconscious backstage on the night of the event. He is not a happy-chappy, and has held up the title to be decided in a 7-way elimination match at Chaos: B-Ballin’ with MVP in Thornbury on Feb 18th. The competitors will be Morgan Webster, Wild Boar, Jimmy Havoc, Mike Bird, Eddie Ryan, Big Grizzly and Dave Mastiff, who missed out on a title match back in August. Whilst this will settle a few issues, you can bet that it will create some too.
Not only this, but Jeckel vs. Adam Maxted has already been announced, as well as appearances from MVP, Melina and Andrew Everett. There will also be An Audience With MVP prior to the show, and like previous events with Hardcore Holly and Chris Hero, this will be a must-see.
The Modern Culture obviously have tag champions The Steele Dragons in their sights, but have they earned (or bullied) their way to a match yet? Talking of bullying for matches, have The Brotherhood provoked Gideon or the management enough yet to get one either? Who will be facing the US stars?
Another astonishing photo-set from Turning Face: (https://www.facebook.com/turningface)
Tickets and other information: (http://prowrestlingchaos.com)
Pro Wrestling Chaos are also trying to bring back Wrestling to the historic Bristol Colston Hall. Please get behind this campaign by using the #ChaosAtTheColston hashtag on social media.